The Pokemon Go phenomenon that has taken the country by storm since being released on July 6 includes both children and adults playing the game. The hectic furor has even made one of the more upper-crust restaurants in New York City vulnerable to the presence of individuals seeking to find virtual creatures at all different spots around the world.
The restaurant in question is Balthazar’s, located on Spring Street in the Soho district and operated by owner Keith McNally. One of the reasons that businesses have embraced something that might otherwise be an annoying distraction is that the app in question literally brings people to the business.
Whether or not those people end up purchasing anything is debatable, especially in the case of Balthazar’s. Despite the seeming contradiction between patrons and visitors, the restaurant’s staff has helped point out certain regularities. One of them was that a monster is always located in the rear portion of the main eating area.
Balthazar’s status as a “Pokestop” was quickly enhanced into a “Lure,” which makes it a more inviting option for the game’s players. That expense is 99 cents per hour for a site, though the restaurant adamantly states that they aren’t footing the bill in that regard.
The restaurant is known for its taste of Paris that’s meant to evoke the type of ambience international travelers experience. Some of the more exotic meals it offers up include short ribs that are tender braised and shepherd’s pie that’s lovingly crafted with duck.
Pokemon Go, which is currently topping the charts as the most downloaded app, is also boosting the business of several restaurants in New York City.
A number of business owners and managers have found a way to attract players of Pokemon Go – by paying a nominal fee to lure virtual Pokemon characters to their location. Sean Beneditti, the manager of L’inizio Pizza Bar in Queens, said that he paid $10 to get the cartoon creatures to come into his establishment. For 30 minutes, a dozen characters could be found hanging out at his pizzeria, waiting to be caught by anyone playing the game.
It’s a business move that paid off, as people came to have a drink and a slice of their favorite pie while beefing up their scores. Others in the industry are also cashing in on the Pokemon mania.
Since many places advertise and connect with their patrons via social media, showing off the Pokemon action going on at a location via Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook seems like a perfect way to drum up sales. If a certain restaurant happens to be near a spot, known as a “gym”, where you can battle other players, managers can also use that to their advantage. Running around in a city during what’s been a hot and humid summer can make people thirsty for a cool drink and hungry for a savory snack.
It’s unclear how long the trend will continue; as for now, many restaurateurs are enjoying it.